Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest smashed Spider-Man's four-year domestic three-day opening record as theBuena Vista sequel opened on an estimated $132m.
The three-day tally averaged $31,944 on 4,133 screens anddominated the global stage with the help of a $46.6m number one internationaltally.
The result produced a seismic shift at the box office as the top12 titles combined for $206.5m, approximately 48% better than the same periodlast year.
Many critics branded Dead Man's Chest a cynical cash-in, but unfavourablereviews have about as much impact as a fly on the hide of a mammoth on afranchise like this. Buena Vista executives always knew the sequel wascritic-proof after the 2003 original finished on $305.4m and became a globalsmash.
This time around audience expectation inflated the numbers to suchan extent that Dead Man's Chest took a single day record $55.5m on Friday - more than theoriginal's entire $46.6m opening weekend. Saturday's $44.7m tally means DeadMan's Chest became thefirst picture to cross $100m in two days.
Studio top brass must be salivating at the prospect of what liesahead in the coming weeks and will be forecasting huge returns when the thirdinstalment opens on Memorial Day weekend 2007.
Dead Man's Chest reprises the key cast of Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and OrlandoBloom as they go about their high jinks on the high seas and introduces BillNighy and Stellan Skarsgaard to the fray. Once again Gore Verbinski directedand Jerry Bruckheimer produced.
Every other picture shunted down one place and remained in thesame pecking order. Superman Returns added $21.9m for Warner Bros in its second weekend for$141.7m, while Fox's comedy The Devil Wears Prada ranks third on an impressive $63.7mafter two.
Sony's Click crossed $100m in fourth place and Buena Vista had more tocelebrate as Cars roared past $200m in fifth.
Next weekend's wide releases are Sony's comedy Little Man starring the Wayans brothers, andUniversal's comedy You, Me And Dupree starring Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon.
Estimated Top Ten North America Jul 7-9, 2006
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Buena Vista) BVI $132m -
2 (1) Superman Returns (Warner Bros) WBPI $21.9m $141.7m
3 (2) The Devil Wears Prada (Fox) Fox Int'l $15.6m $63.7m
4 (3) Click (Sony) SPRI $12m $105.9m
5 (4) Cars(Buena Vista/Pixar) BVI $10.3m $205.5m
6 (5) Nacho Libre (Paramount) UIP $3.3m $73.8m
7 (6) The Lake House (Warner Bros) WBPI/Village Roadshow $2.8m $45.6m
8 (7) The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (Universal) UIP $2.5m $57.4m
9 (8) Waist Deep (Rogue) Focus Features Int'l $1.9m $19.2m
10 (9) TheBreak-Up (Universal) UIP$1.6m $114.3m